The Varsity Wrestling team finished their regular season this week with two respectable performances, playing it safe and keeping its starting lineup healthy and rested for the Class A league tournament this Saturday. Despite leaving four starters at home, the Big Blue placed a respectable fifth in a pool of fourteen teams at the New England Invitational tournament hosted by the Hyde School of Connecticut. Following their tournament over the weekend, Andover put up a furious rally against archrival Exeter last Wednesday. Despite their efforts, the Blue Grapplers fell short, losing their final dual meet of the season 50-27. Last Saturday Andover sent thirteen wrestlers to compete in a tournament at the Hyde School in Connecticut.. Two Andover grapplers were crowned champions and seven of their teamates placed. Leading the way were Jeff Peña ’04 and Mark Shvartsman ’05. Peña finally defeated his biggest rival and top-ranked 130-pounder from Hyde in a thrilling final match, while Shvartsman pinned Tom Treat ’04 in the all-Andover final at 119lbs. Captain Leon Fay ’04 took second at 135, while Erik Trautman ’03 came back from injuries to take third at 171. Also placing were Taylor Yates ’04, who displayed some of the best wrestling of his Andover career to take third at 145, and Lars Trautman ’04, who took fourth at 160. Unfortunately, Phil Caruso ’03 suffered a concussion in his second match, an injury that would prove costly later in the week. Fired up for their last home wrestling of the season, the Big Blue took the mat against nemesis Exeter on Wednesday. PA started the day on a sour note, however, losing two quick matches and started the match down 10-0. Exeter then took advantage of Caruso’s absence by taking a forfeit at 152 with a JV wrestler and bumping up each of their three superstars to the next weight class. The Big Blue used a furious rally to reclaim some of its dignity, winning five straight matches, with pins by Gabe Worgaftik ’06, Shvartsman, Constantino and Fay, and a solid decision by Peña to finish the meet with the final score at 50-27 Exeter. Andover Varsity Wrestling finished the season with an impressive dual meet record of 10-8-1, 6-4-1 in the Class A.
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